SMITH, Leesa The Earth Protectors Goanna Tales Pub, 2013 85pp $10.95 pbk ISBN 9780980626360
This is Book 1 in the SwArM series. Young Sam has always had an affinity for insects and for the earth. He has stood up to bullies to stop them from torturing bugs, and feels more comfortable on his own exploring the natural world. One day Sam is investigating an insect hole beneath a tree in his backyard when he is sucked down the hole and into a world beneath the earth. There he discovers he has been chosen to receive a special gift, and for a special task. He will become SwArM, and save the insects’ home.
This is a well-intentioned book – there is a strong environmental and compassionate message here. Unfortunately the writing and editing don’t quite do it justice. There are spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and inconsistencies in the internal laws of the book. There are also problems with the pacing of the story, and the way in which the author takes us from one scene to another. The dramatic and exciting scenes read exactly the same as the rest of the book, leaving the reader unmoved. This book would benefit from strong editing.
It seems to be aimed at upper primary, especially boys. The cover may appeal to them, and the text is easy to read, if not to follow. RK